Independent mining firm Alufer Mining Limited announced yesterday the commencement of detailed engineering studies at the Bel Air bauxite mine to determine the feasibility of expanding production to 10 million metric tons of bauxite ore per annum.
Per a press release issued by the firm yesterday, operations at the site are on pace to produce 5.5 million metric tons of bauxite ore this year. Transporting and loading of the ore is properly functioning, with efforts aimed at streamlining the process continually underway, it said.
Under examination now is the project’s second phase, which Alufer has already investigated via preliminary engineering studies. The firm says the economics of a planned expansion to 10 million metric tons per annum of production are favorable, and that such a move would be a capital-efficient route for optimizing the project’s capabilities.
At present, Alufer is undertaking more detailed engineering studies to determine the next stage of an expansion and what such a scale up in production may require.
“With the operational set up we have achieved to date, we are now looking to the next phase and analysing how we can create further value from the Bel Air project,” said Alufer CEO Bernie Pryor in a statement. “I look forward to updating you on our progress with these studies in due course.”
Located 75 miles north of Conakry, Bel Air Mine is Alufer’s flagship project in Guinea. The mine has an estimated reserve of 146 million metric tons of high-grade trihydrate bauxite with low relative silica. Alufer is one of several companies active in Guinea, which has been the epicenter of a great deal of bauxite mining activity in recent years. The country boasts of a tremendous quantity of bauxite ore, but political and economic problems have long made harvesting the ore quite difficult.